Meals Ready-To-Eat or MREs are well known by people involved in prepping and outdoor activities. These type of meals is commonly known as field rations created for military personnel. The MRE is designed to feed one person per a meal. Luckily these meals that come in a box or a bag have evolved significantly since the days of the freeze-dried meat, cans of Spam and hardtack. 

The modern MREs of today provide an extensive array of food items which are now inclusive of beverage powders, desserts, entrees which mostly come with their own heating elements. Today you can even find the MREs that are suggested for extreme cold weather which contain additional calories to assist you in staying warm when you are exposed to the elements.

meals ready-to-eat

All items that are included in the latest MREs have made them increasingly popular for outdoor recreationists and preppers that include the hikers, backpackers and campers. However, you may have thoughts of whether the MREs are the correct solution to form a portion of your preparedness emergency kit. Before you decide to order online or run out to the closest store to purchase cases of the MREs so you have them on hand when a disaster strikes, it is extremely beneficial to know about the advantages as well as the disadvantages associated with these products.

The Advantages

• Versatility

The modern day MREs provide many options in regards to food choices. The MREs for the U.S. military provide a significant diversity which was missing a few years back. Today you are able to choose from options such as pork, beef or chicken as a main dish and even vegetarian meals. In addition, there are also varieties of carbohydrates such as oatmeal, applesauce, rice and pasta. The MREs are also now available in dinner, lunch and breakfast options.

• The Heating Elements

Modern MREs feature a heating element which ensures a hot and tasty meal, even when you are far away from conveniences such as a stove. The heating element is featured in the box or bag. This makes an MRE the ideal solution if you do not have electricity or you are stuck out in the wilderness and you are far away from civilization.

• Variety

The MREs are available in a number of food items which include main dishes, desserts, side dishes, instant coffee, beverage powders, energy bars and other accessories such as chewing gum, spoons, toilet paper, salt and pepper and even a hot sauce like Tabasco.

• Portability

The MREs are easily stored in a bug-out-bag or backpack. As you open up your MRE you will have everything that you will need for the meal.

The Disadvantages

• The Calories

Due to the fact that the MREs were first designed for the soldiers out in the field or in combat, the MRE meals contain excessive calorie amounts. The typical MRE contains around 1200 calories which is ideal for those outdoor adventures or pursuits but way too much for the more sedentary people. It is advisable not to eat an entire MRE in one sitting if you are watching your weight or you like to count calories.

• The Weight

The typical MRE weighs more when you compare them to the freeze-dried meals. This is a serious consideration for those who place an emphasis on the weight of their backpack or for those who are on their feet and walk throughout the day.

• The Costs

The MREs are more costly when you compare them to fresh food or the freeze-dried meals. The typical MRE costs around $8 to $10 and a case of 12 MREs typically costs between $80 to $100.

• Availability

The MREs are not the type of food product that you can buy or find at the local grocery stores. The outdoor stores or speciality military supply stores may stock them, but these may be limited when it comes to variety and quantity. However, the MREs are available online from a number of reputable online retailers. However, when you do choose the option of ordering online you need to consider the additional shipping costs involved.